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Clinical documentation is at the core of every patient encounter. In order to be meaningful, the documentation must be clear, consistent, complete, precise, reliable, timely, and legible to accurately reflect the patient’s disease burden and scope of services provided.

Tammy Combs, RN, MSN, CCS, CCDS, CDIP, AHIMA practice director, CDI and clinical foundations, works with external subject matter experts to advance the clinical documentation integrity (CDI) initiatives at AHIMA. She is also responsible for building the AHIMA20 CDI Education Track.

As AHIMA prepares to bring its members an annual conference virtual event like never before, we’re taking you behind the scenes to learn how staff and volunteers are working to create this unique and interactive show. You’ll also learn helpful navigation tips and uncover the “hidden gems” behind AHIMA20!

In this behind the scenes spotlight, we spoke with Tammy about her role in the organization and how CDI will shape AHIMA20.

Question: What is your role at AHIMA and AHIMA20?

Tammy Combs: I am the practice director CDI and clinical foundations for AHIMA. I work with AHIMA and external subject matter experts to advance the clinical documentation integrity (CDI) initiatives at AHIMA. This includes helping with the CDI track at AHIMA20 conference.

Q: What have been some of the challenges of converting a massive in-person conference into a virtual event? How has planning for this year’s conference differed from previous AHIMA conferences that you’ve prepared for in the past?

Combs: This is not my first year participating at the AHIMA conference. The transition to a virtual conference has been one of new experiences and opportunities. All of AHIMA’s staff and speakers have been very supportive of this new way of delivering the conference. The challenges have been learning the virtual platform and planning the activities that have traditionally been done in person. It has been a learning experience but one that has expanded my knowledge in the abilities of virtual learning.

“We have a great line up of speakers in the CDI educational sessions. There are topics that cover the coding updates and guidelines that have occurred in 2020, interoperability, E/M 2021 revisions, clinical validation, risk adjustment, and auditing. All of the CDI sessions cover the hot topics that have been impacting the CDI industry this year.”

—Tammy Combs, RN, MSN, CCS, CCDS, CDIP, AHIMA practice director, CDI and clinical foundations

Q: What should attendees be most excited about in your area of the conference?

Combs: We have a great line up of speakers in the CDI educational sessions. There are topics that cover the coding updates and guidelines that have occurred in 2020, interoperability, E/M 2021 revisions, clinical validation, risk adjustment, and auditing. All of the CDI sessions cover the hot topics that have been impacting the CDI industry this year.

Q: What are some of the hidden gems of AHIMA20 that attendees may overlook?

Combs: There will be networking breakfasts that will include breakfast vouchers so attendees can still participate in these popular activities. There will be fun breaks that incorporate ways attendees can stay motivated and engaged. We will also have networking opportunities, so all of us who have been feeling isolated in our homes this year will have an opportunity to connect with our colleagues.

Q: What advice do you have for people who may be attending a virtual conference for the first time?

Combs: Take the time to explore the agenda—there are many educational opportunities available, so planning ahead will be helpful. Come prepared to learn new information that can be applied into daily practice. I would encourage attendees to block their schedule so they can give the conference their full attention. This will allow them to stay fully engaged.

Register for AHIMA20

The AHIMA20 Virtual Conference is the premier educational, exhibition, and networking event for health information professionals. Whether you are seeking cutting-edge education, evaluating the latest market innovations, or are seeking new professional connections, the AHIMA20 Virtual Conference is the place to be. Register today.

Hear from past attendees why they attend the AHIMA conference every year.

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